Photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's preferred candidate for mayor of Istanbul was defeated on Sunday, an embarrassing blow to the strongman's ruling Justice and Development Party two months after election officials gave in to his controversial request for a rerun, AP reports.

Why it matters: The initial decision to redo the election was viewed as a significant blow to Turkey's already damaged democracy. But Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute tells the New York Times that Sunday's result "shows democracy is resilient and elections still matter. [The opposition candidate Ekrem] Imamoglu won with a landslide — a 10-point lead — even though Erdogan mobilized all the state resources in this election."

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